2012 was the year my ear problems from childhood came back from the dead. Two surgeries and many doctor appointments later, those days may be done. I did a lot of growing up this year, whether I wanted to or not. It was stressful, but I learned a lot through trial and error. I’m not saying 2012 was the worst (that title is still held by you, 2007!), and it definitely had some great things about it (most of them were Kevin and/or food-related), but I hope 2013 is much better.
January: I rang in the New Year with friends and family in Columbus before heading back to Chicago for a Fake New Years Eve with Kevin a week later. For most of January I researched grants for women’s hearing aids, believing my old ones were finally failing.
February: I went to a doctor at the behest of my hearing aids sales guy, and this doctor took one look at my left ear and knew something else was going on. I was referred to a specialist, who quickly scheduled me for part one of a two-part surgery for six weeks later. Kevin got me the Hunger Games series for Valentine’s Day, which I was obsessed with at the time. I celebrated my one-year anniversary at work, and Kevin and I decided to move in together in the spring.
March: I got my first new pair of hearing aids as an adult, and my mom was not around to navigate the process. I celebrated my 26th birthday at the Bar on Buena with friends during a surprisingly warm and beautiful week in March. Days later, on March 30, I underwent the most disruptive and terrifying surgery of my life. It resulted in me being defunct for weeks, an inability to wear my hearing aid until July, and an ear infection that lasted months.
April: A slow recovery hindered my training regimen for the 5K I’d foolishly signed up for before going in for surgery. I worked from home a lot to avoid interacting with people sans-hearing aids but still suffered from ear infection. I saw Death Cab for Cutie for a third time, at the Chicago Theatre. Kevin’s dad visited Chicago and invited us to Arizona for a trip over the summer. Kevin and I found our new apartment and set a moving date.
May: On a busy weekend in May, I ran my first (and thus far, only) 5K event and moved all of my belongings from one house to another. Three very kind friends first moved me from Avondale to Lincoln Square, and then Kevin from one apartment to another two blocks away. I went home to Caldwell for Memorial Day weekend.
June: Kevin and I celebrated one year together by revisiting the site of our first date: Rib Fest. We hosted a couple college friends of his for a few days and had fun taking them around the neighborhood. My niece turned three June 17.
July: We spent a broiling Fourth of July with friends nearby, gasping for breath any time we were in a space without air conditioning. Kevin turned 26 and his generous parents bought him an AC unit for his birthday. My dad visited Chicago and announced his engagement to his girlfriend of two-and-a-half years. I saw Death Cab for a FOURTH time, at the Taste of Chicago.
August: Kevin and I flew to Arizona, where I met his mom, brother, and sister-in-law for the first time. We spent a week in Flagstaff at his parents’ summer home and then went on to San Diego to see friends of mine, Eileen and Tim. Eileen ended our vacation on an extremely positive note when she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids in their July 4th weekend wedding in 2013. My college friends BC and Christina visited us at the end of month and we had a fun visit taking them to Giordano’s, the Hancock Tower, and one of the downtown beaches.
September: My friend Stefanie, after hearing my frustration with my career and my wish to re-enter the journalism field, suggested I start my own news site about the neighborhood I live in and love so much. Weeks later, I started 60625. My second niece, Molly, was born September 20, and it was hard being far away for such an important day for my family.
October: Early in the month, I went to Ohio to see my new niece for a quick weekend trip. My doctor said I was ready for surgery #2 and scheduled it for Nov. 9. The city of Chicago and I celebrated our second anniversary Oct. 25. Kevin and I hosted a Halloween party, planning to go as Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt from “Parks & Recreation.” Kevin underwent a last-minute costume change, not wanting to shave his mustache since our office’s Movember campaign was starting days later. In the end, he made a good Ron Swanson.
November: My second ear surgery for 2012 was not nearly as bad as the first. My doctor was unable to put in an implant that was supposed to make my hearing better, but the good news was that the cyst that had been taken out in March didn’t show signs of returning. After a much quicker recovery, I devoted a lot of time and energy to my news site and had a great time covering events in my area.
December: Kevin got us tickets to see Sufjan Stevens in concert, and it was awesome. Our friend Sarah took some photos of us for our first-ever Christmas card together for friends and family, at the train stop by our apartment. I did a radio interview to talk about my news site. I made an effort to do more Christmas shopping locally than I have in the past, and took a bus to Caldwell for the holidays.
I’m still in Ohio, but I’ll be back in Chicago for New Year’s Eve. Kevin ended 2012 on a sad note, as his grandfather passed away two days after Christmas. I’m ending this year wishing I was there with Kevin and his family during this hard time, but he and I will be back in the same city soon enough.
In the mean time, happy (early) new year! Time to start working on a list of new year’s resolutions…